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Gang Roundup – January 2018

First Gang Roundup of the year! And a crowded one at that. Start of the year, lots of posts floating around the net. It’s a blogger’s and reader’s paradise!

So let’s dive right in!

Sarah Bernhardt: Was she the first ‘A-list’ actress?

Sarah Bernhard is one of those people you know who she is even if you don’t know who she is. She was crazily popular at her time and truly a force of nature, by what I’ve read of her.
I really enjoyed readying this account of her life. She was a remarcable woman for sure, anashemed of anything she wanted or pursued, and just for this she deserved to be remembered.

Ruan Lingyu: The Greta Garbo of China 

I’m often fascinated with how the 1920s and 1930s were times of great change affecting different parts of the world and different cultures and still somehow similar everywhere.
This is the story of Ruan Lingyu, a Chinese super star of the silent film era. Hers story, which may sound a lot like others in the same time and the same industry, is in fact peculiar to her nation.

10 great films set in the roaring 20s

And tolking about actresses and films, here’s a nice roundup of films that – well, not only are set in the 1920s, some were actually filmed in that time.
I love watching films of the era. I love the new films set int he 1920s because they are always so lavish. They give you a strong idea of what it might have been like, the bright colours, the music, the fast life. But the film of the 1920s are the real thing. They might not be absolutely faithful to what everyday life was, but it’s that time and I love watching them.
Of the ones here listed, I’m most curtious about Piccadilly and among the new ones about Midnight in Paris. Anyone seen these?

Dieselpunk: A New Cookbook Part 1

Last year, Larry Amyett posted a series of blogs that explored the different characteristics of Dieselpunk. He’s now expanding on that subject with a new series and I can’t wait to read it!
In this first post he recaps the different kind of Dieselpunk and what are their characteristics. It’s a good introduction even for someone who really doesn’t know anything about the genre.

Dieselpunk: A New Cookbook Part 2 – Gothic Dieselpunk

Although a kind of lighter Dieselpunk does exist, dieselpunk stories normally tend to lean on the darker side, especially inclining toward noir and neo-noir moods and atmospheres. So it’s probably no surprise that a new subgenre is emerging, which Larry calls Gothic Dieselpunk and that combines classic gothic elements (which are normally more Victorian in vibe) with a more modern, diesel era style.

I have a soft spots for historical information about everyday life, so I was delighted by two articles author Mary Maley posted on her blog.

Voudeville Travel

This concerns train travel in the 1920s. Maley’s main character in her 1920s mystery series is a vaudeville actress and she makes massive use of train travel. I really like these parts in the stories, maybe because I’m a commuter myself and I like seeing how people travelled back in the day. Not so differently from today, I shoudl say.
These are also very lively parts of the novels. Quite clearly that Maley knows the matter very well.

Going up? Elevators in the 1920s

Elevators were very different in the 1920s, instead. I knew by that time they were not new anymore, but I didnt’ know they had been around since the 1850s! But apparently in the 1920s, having become more reliable and common  they brought about a change we might not have expected.

Come friendly bombs and fall on Stonehenge

What attracted me to this article was the stunning photo. Then when I read it, I discovered that the photo didn’t really speak of anything charming. Apparently during WWI, Stonehenge was a air force base and the ancint monument stood real danger of being bombed.
I understand that life was very different back then, and that in times of war and fast advancement, little thought was given to history. I’m still buffled that such an important historical site wasn’t treated with more consideration.

Babylon Berlin

I knew they were doing a tv series out of the novel series, and here it comes. I’ve only read the first of the novels, the only one translated into English (alas, my German is not good enough to read the original), but from this and another trailer I’ve seen, it looks to me the tv series has the same strength and weakness of that novel: a good plot, intersting characters, not much of an accurate historical setting. But it looks like fun, just like the novel.

Peaky Blinders

I discovered this tv series by mere chance, but some of you told me it has going on for a few years and it is very good. It does look good. I have a feeling I’ll be forced to hunt it down.

You’re the Cream in my Coffee by Jennifer Lamont Leo

In 1928, Chicago rocks to the rhythm of the Jazz Age, and Prohibition is in full swing. Small-town girl Marjorie Corrigan, visiting the city for the first time, has sworn that coffee’s the strongest drink that will pass her lips. But her quiet, orderly life turns topsy-turvy when she spots her high school sweetheart–presumed killed in the Great War–alive and well in a train station. Suddenly everything is up for grabs.

Although the stranger insists he’s not who she thinks he is, Marjorie becomes obsessed with finding out the truth. To the dismay of her fiancé and family, she moves to the city and takes a job at a department store so she can spy on him. Meanwhile, the glittering world of her roommate, Dot, begins to look awfully enticing–especially when the object of her obsession seems to be part of that world. Is it really so terrible to bob her hair and shorten her skirt? To visit a speakeasy? Just for a cup of coffee, of course.

Get the book

So this is it for this month too. I hope you enjoyed it.

And remember, if you want you can join the 1920s Book club on Facebook, where we share everything realted to stories set in the 1920s and nearby.

GANG ROUNDUP (January 2018) The Gang Roundup of January is particularly generous. There are links about silent era films and actresses, tv series set in the 1920s, dieselpunk and of course books!

NOTE: This blog contains affiliate links (including Amazon links) to the book I independently review. When you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission for advertising the product (at no extra cost to you).


  • Margot Kinberg
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 21:55

    I really like Peaky Blinders, Sarah. I hope you will, too. And thank you for the rest of this excellent roundup – very interesting.

    • Post Author
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 17:00

      Thanks for telling me about it, Margot. I will have to look that show up. I’m discovering so many goodlooking period shows, lately. I’ll never be able tto see all of them!!

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